Dec. 4 Angels/Snow Angels
"What do we have?"
"According to Officer Tergeis, our victim is Ensign Bartholomaios Marcus, twenty-two years old, five foot eleven inches." Tony held out the ensign's id cards. "Tergeis wants the case and the local LEOs are not happy about yielding Ensign Marcus' case to us."
Tony shivered but not from the cold. Homicides were never easy but psychos with fetishes were the worst. They really creeped him out. "Seems our victim stumbled into a serial. One body every morning the last three days. Cause of death in the cases are not yet determined. The LEOs are waiting for tox results. No obvious wounds; no stabbings, gunshots, etc."
"Tell me, he isn't..." McGee stepped up and stared horrified at their victim.
"Glad you could join us, McGee."
Tony shook his head discreetly, letting McGee know not to respond. "Yes, McGee, our victim is a snow angel. Thank you, boss." Satisfied that he had deflected Gibbs, Tony continued. "Our victim is there fourth victim. Each was found in a relatively low traffic area and each had made a snow angel prior to ..." Tony stared down at the ensign distracted.
"DiNozzo. What you got?"
"Hey, Tergeis." Tony motioned the LEO over while he talked to Gibbs. "There's something off about the snow angel. Give me a minute, boss."
"What'll you need, DiNozzo?"
"Have you photographed him well?"
"Took a lot of digitals and even a few old fashion stills."
"Willing to share?" Tony smiled.
"Going to make it worth my while?" Tergeis smiled back.
"Flirt on your own time, DiNozzo."
"Thank you, boss." DiNozzo didn't even try to duck the slap. He continued, "There's something off. Want to give me a hand?" Tony turned to his younger partner. "McGee, I want a ton of photographs."
"What are you thinking?"
"Theory is that the victims meet up with the serial. Somehow, he gains control of them. They make a snow angel and die."
Gibbs looked at the officer who nodded. "You have something else?" Gibbs asked DiNozzo.
Gibbs motioned him to get on with it.
"Over here." Tony directed. "Okay, I'm the victim. Exhibit A - I get in the snow and make a snow angel. Alright, McPhotographer, roll film."
"If this is a chance to release your inner child, I'm posting these all over the net."
Gibbs noticed that the officer had pulled his own camera and appeared to be shooting video. Tony dropped to the ground and made the angel.
"Okay, pull me out."
Gibbs held out his hand as the other two men were still taking pictures. "Now, what?"
"Exhibit B - I'm forced to make a snow angel." This time Tony eased himself down as if at gun point. Laying back he stiffly moved his arms and legs. He looked up at Gibbs with his hand extended and his boss complied. "If you look at the two outlines, Exhibit B has more rigid lines. The victim is being forced and it shows it the edges of the sweeps. See how the soles of my shoes dig in a bit. Now, Boss for Exhibit C I'm going to make one of your dreams come true. You've incapacitated me. Pick me up and dump me in."
Gibbs eyed him suspiciously.
"Seriously, boss. Let's see. Tergeis, victims were a mixed lot, no physical profile, right?"
"Okay, I'm already dead. You need to fulfill your fantasy. How do you get me here?"
Following DiNozzo's line of thought. Gibbs studied his agent and then his eyes narrowed. "Fireman's carry."
"Agent Gibbs, do you want me to take over?" Tergeis asked.
Gibbs moved swiftly taking his senior agent off-guard as he scooped him up. "Thanks, officer. I've got it. Now where am I putting you."
"Just a little over from the other two exhibits." Tony immediately went limp.
Moving carefully, Gibbs stepped into the snow. The snow around their victim was unmarked. Gibbs debated a moment and then knelt and let Tony's body slide slowly off of his shoulder. Leaning over he grabbed the cuff of Tony's jacket sleeve and began to drag the arm in a parody of the snow angel creation. He repeated this for the other arm and then both legs. Standing in the outline before stepping out carefully.
"If you notice, the area around my waist is larger than the other two exhibits."
"Made by your arms flopping limply around your body."
"Look here," McGee pointed as he and Tergeis stepped closer. "The edges of the wings aren't well-formed.
"From where Agent Gibbs was using the cuff for control and the hand was flopping." Tergeis nodded.
Gibbs noticed the smug look Tony was trying to hide. He knew DiNozzo well enough to know he had another ace up his sleeve. "McGee. Go to his head. Take his arms and lift carefully on my mark."
"I'll be damned." Tergeis looked at the imprints under the body. "There could be evidence under the body.
"Everyone! Get back away from the body. I want a ten-foot perimeter."
"I was just about to start the examination, Agent Gibbs."
"Not yet, Palmer. If DiNozzo is right and not just enjoying himself in the snow. Your examination would severely contaminate the crime scene. We need to lift the body out of the way without disturbing it. Will that compromise your investigation?"
"Do we have a time of death?" Palmer asked.
"Narrowed to a window between one hundred and three hundred this morning. Caretaker goes through the park every couple of hours."
"Body is within the first stages of rigor mortis. The snow is going to advance the onset but I'd recommend the least amount of disturbance would be to lift him by his extremities."
Gibbs looked and saw his two agents and the LEO had joined him. "Gentlemen, glove up."
Palmer pulled his kit and handed gloves to the quartet. Somewhere, DiNozzo had dug up a can of spray paint. Gibbs really didn't want to know where. At Gibbs' direction, he had used it to draw a green box around the body. There had been a brief wait as Tony and Jimmy conferred and then set up a gurney with a sterile body bag at the head. At Gibbs' direction they positioned themselves at each extremity. "The body made be a little stiff. Tergeis, you and McGee each take an arm. DiNozzo and I will take the legs. Do not step inside the green lines. We are going to lift straight up. Then we walk by stepping to our side. Once we reach the gurney, we will gently lower the victim down. At that time, Mr. Palmer will take possession of the victim. Any questions?"
"How are we going to lift?"
DiNozzo butted in and took Tergeis' question. He knew when Gibbs asked, "Any questions?" it was rhetorical. "Tergeis, we want as little movement as possible. Best way to lift is not to use clothing. It's too easy to lose the grip. Look how McGee is placing his hands. The hand in the arm pit will help balance the weight and the hand below the elbow should keep the hand from flopping about. Gibbs and I are going to go at the mid-thigh and calve by joining hands under the body."
"I will step between Tony and you, officer. I will use my hands under the body to prevent it from sagging down and dragging on your evidence." Jimmy spoke up.
"When I say lift, we will get the body up and stable. When I say "step", try to keep a foot step to the side and then bring the other foot over."
"Boss. We should have documentation of this for the record."
"Polt!" Tergeis called his partner. Get over here and bring a camera."
Another officer joined Polt. After a quick conference, one of the men went to the head of the gurney and the other the foot of the victim. "Legace and I are ready."
Gibbs gave the Tergeis a nod of approval for his initiative. "Ready... Lift..."
"Good work." Tergeis held his hand out to Tony. "We wouldn't have this evidence if not for you. How about I buy you dinner as a thanks?"
"I imagine, you'll be a bit busy this evening working on that evidence, just like we will." Gibbs interjected.
"DiNozzo, load up." Gibbs prodded. Tony gave Officer Tergeis a rueful smile before turning to join McGee in the truck.
"Can I at least get your number?" Tergeis called after him.
"Nope." Gibbs sidestepped in time with Tergeis. "I've got your number. So here's a bit of advice. Back off."
"He's smart and he is a very good-looking man." Tergeis complained.
"With a very jealous boyfriend." Gibbs leaned closer. "Former sniper in the marine corp. Now, run along."
As Gibbs crawled behind the wheel, Tony whined. "I can't believe you just let them have the case. Especially after all my hard work. They wouldn't have realized that the tread on the suspect's boot was the regulation issued tread of the caretaker's boots if I hadn't pointed out the discrepancy in the snow angel. What's up with that?"
Gibbs just stared at him. "How well do you know, Officer Tergeis?"
Tony gave him a small knowing smile. "Moving right along. Cold cases here we come."